Big Switch Steps Away From OpenDaylight SDN Group

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2013-06-05 Print this article Print

Cisco officials have said they embrace open standards in SDN, noting its support of the OpenFlow controller technology in its switches, its work with the ONF and its participation in the OpenDaylight Project.

In his blog post, Big Switch CEO Appenzeller wrote that the company disagreed with OpenDaylight’s decision to merge Big Switch Floodlight controller and Cisco’s ONE controller to create a common code base. Big Switch disagreed for two key reasons, the first being that its Floodlight technology is one to two years ahead of what the OpenDaylight Project is proposing, which would force Big Switch to try to port its software to a less mature code base.

“The second, and more important reason is that our energy is better spent concentrating on the needs of the user community—not playing politics with the incumbent vendor community,” Appenzeller wrote.

The trend in the industry is toward inexpensive and simple bare-metal or white-box switches that can be easily programmed via controller software. It’s a trend that’s been validated by the work of the ONF and the Open Compute Project, among others, he wrote.

“We support this trend towards OpenFlow-based bare metal switch fabrics with our Indigo open-source repo and our Switch Light thin-switching platform,” Appenzeller wrote. “While forward-thinking customers are committed to this trend, we question whether or not the incumbent hardware vendors leading OpenDaylight have a similar commitment.”

In a June 5 post on the OpenDaylight blog, David Meyer, CTO and chief scientist at Brocade and an OpenDaylight board member, wrote that the decision on the controller—dubbed the Dickson-Erickson Proposal—that was accepted by the community was a good example of how open-source development should work.

Noting that multiple controller code bases were submitted, Meyer said that “the community looked at the code, weighed the merits of various parts and in typical open-source fashion picked the best pieces from multiple codebases to build the base controller. In the open-source software world, that’s positive forward progress.”


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